Rep. Smith statement on opening day of legislative session: It’s about the budget and priorities

Today, Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton and lead Republican on economic development issues in the Washington State House of Representatives, issued the following statement on the opening day of the 2012 legislative session:

“Entering my fifth legislative session, it is an honor to once again be in Olympia serving the constituents of the Tenth Legislative District. As we begin this session, it is imperative to remember that Washington state has adequate dollars available to fund our core priorities. Basic education, public safety, and protecting our most vulnerable must receive our first tax dollars before all other programs, and must not be held hostage while lower priorities continue to spread our resources too thin to meet critical obligations to our children, families, and communities across the state.

“While our economy is struggling to rebound, positive steps taken by the Legislature this session can help accelerate a sustainable recovery. While much uncertainty still remains, the good news is the state of Washington is projected to see a seven percent increase in tax collections this biennium over last, equating to about two billion dollars, and revenues since the November forecast are 20 million dollars above expectations.

“The focus of this session must remain on passing a balanced and sustainable budget, and doing so in the 60-day regular session. While many of us in Olympia, and those we represent have different ideas as to how we should proceed in the coming weeks, I continue to believe the best solutions are often a result of many differing viewpoints, and a variety of individuals working together toward a common purpose.”

The 60-day 2012 legislative session begins today and runs through March 8.


Washington State House Republican Communications